Hi all. Just putting out some feelers to see if anybody has any input/info on KMC Controls. Looking to possibly try to be a rep, just wondering if anybody has worked on them or has knowledge of them. I looked at the website which is pretty informative, but first hand knowledge is usually very helpful. Thanks in advance.
The field product is OK. The make some product that industry giants purchase and re label. Their web hardware is a little challenging to get going but the TC stuff works like most. They do not support a hand held operators terminal so you have to lug a pc to the roof all the time. They could offer more I/O flexibility.
But heck all control companies are not perfect.
Their front end is probably the worst one in the entire industry. It is an embarrassing piece of crap.
I guess it depends on what you bring to them and what they offer you.
Been there done that
I have heard many people describe KMC controls as Kmart controls.
The field controllers have been very reliable. I have seen high failure rates on the actuators and the supervisory controllers are not very stable.
All of the systems I see are approaching 5 to 10 years old. So consider this a history lesson, I haven't seen any newer stuff.
Which actuators , have used loads of their larger 3 way and diverting valves and not a failure on the MEP series actuators yet.
In the past year, my company has become a rep for KMC. We have installed about 5 systems using their newest BACnet building controller.
Once you get the hang of how to setup the inputs and outputs, everything works great. Their front end on all their software for setting up and configuring the devices works great.
That being said, as DiodeCutter said, the front end for the customer isn't the best.
The software front end (Total Control) isn't that bad, and they seem to be making huge progress with it, and pretty quickly too. This does require an onsite computer, and the software itself can get expensive.
Their building controller itself can also act as a front end, and host graphic pages, but it is very limited at this time. I really hope they focus more on this in the next few months.
I have not experienced any problems with thier actuators.
I was referring to the MEP actuator. Every time I ordered a replacement the model number changed. This led me to believe it is the new improved model.
Originally Posted by Control Man
KMC did revamp their product line and added some updated items, but the MEPS are still a good quality item with 1 if not the best warranties.
I buy a lot of their valves and customers are very pleased with the quality and get great service from the KMC parts dept for everything but the DDC.
The DDC side is a bit different the company that reps it does a @#$% poor install and the jobs are never truly finished.
I have a lot of experience with KMC. The major thing you have to remember is the company was founded by engineeers, not marketing types so they view the world a little differently than the "big guys".
Honeywell's Comfort Point (BACnet Branch only System) is made by KMC for Honeywell. They OEM things for almost every major manufacturer, it's a well kept secret.
To their credit, they realize that have some "branding issues". They have grown substancially over the last 3 to 4 years, increasing market share by double digit growth each year (how many companys can say that). There is now a new CEO and management team in place that all have backgrounds with the "big guys" (they hired ringers) so the product development cycle has been in overdrive.
The BACnet building controller is a solid product, Total Control is constantly improving (but still a bit cumbersome) and they have a new stat coming out that is a controller and thermostat in one device. It's in a BACnet "flavor" and will replace about 9 Viconics models with one device. Better for the tech, one stat to carry on your truck that fits 8 or 9 common applications.
Bottom line if you are thinking about giving them a try I would go for it. They are not the old KMC anymore, much improved.
It depends what you want out of it
Been working with KMC for about 7-8 years now. There are a few different aspects of KMC. The KMDigital side which is split between BACnet controllers and standard KMD controllers, then there is the other side which makes actuators, stats, a full line of pneumatics, and all the other devices and what not.
KMDigital - non BACnet:
Just like DiodeCutter said, their front end leaves a lot to be desired. The controllers on the other hand are decent. They are butt simple to program and have universal IO. Most controllers can have AUX HOA modules put into them so the tech can manually adjust the output right on the controller. All controllers have PIDs built in and ranging tables for all types of inputs. Setting up a network is as simple as setting a network address and telling one controller that it is the "last panel". One other great thing about them is that it is a true peer-to-peer network where all controllers can talk directly to one another so they can share their info but if the network were to go down, the continue to operate stand alone. I would suggest using the KMC OPC server so that you can use any front end software. There are a lot more details that can be discussed about these controllers but it would take too long. Oh, yeah, they are cheap.
KMD - BACnet line:
The same as the non-BACnet controllers as far as IO goes. I don't have much experience with the BACnet line and its front end. I do know from a coworker that he does not like it too much. There is a lot of clicking and tricky things you need to do to perform simple tasks. He also says that there are no filters on the inputs. Not sure if this is a BACnet standard but seems unfortunate to me. He said that he had some issues with getting schedule data over OPC but that was a year of so ago and I am sure there have been firmware updates since then. No experience with Total Control as we use other vendors' front end software.
I think there stuff is great. They seem to have a signal converter for everything, all sorts of relays, some great damper/valve actuators and any type of pneumatic device you can imagine. The stuff is reasonably priced and has been reliable as far as I can tell. I won't say that we have never had a device fail, but nothing out of the ordinary.
If you want something simple and cheap, go with the standard KMDigital stuff. If you need BACnet give it a try. If you know what good software is, you might be a little frustrated with the KMC software though.
Just my opinion.
Not sure why everyone is "ragging" on KMC's front end or which one you are speaking of...they have 3 falvors. KMD (propritary line) = Win Control XL+, BACnet = BACStage or Total Control = Web based for either KMD or BACnet lines.
My experience has been the front end "stuff" is all about WHO sets it up, programs it and most importantly designs the graphics, no matter who's system it is. All systems (particuarly web based ones) require the proper training... theirs is no different in that aspect.
As for the BACnet stuff...what most dont realize a lot if that is the ASHRAE 135 "holes" it has no standard definition for scheduling and calendars etc...it's very loosley (or not well) defined.
Just my .02 cents...
I ran some KMC bacnet controllers into an FX40 for a web interface.(Turned off N2 and enable MSTP) worked great; no problems.
[QUOTE=controls dude;1953006]Not sure why everyone is "ragging" on KMC's front end or which one you are speaking of...they have 3 falvors. KMD (propritary line) = Win Control XL+, BACnet = BACStage or Total Control = Web based for either KMD or BACnet lines.
I do not consider Win control to be a front end. It is the main tool used by the tech/programmer. It is functional but has no filtering ability. ie view all analog outputs or inputs.
KMC like every other product is what the corp is willing to invest in designing. They have their niche market. My "Ragging on KMC" comes from having seen and worked on many other front ends and feel the KMC front end is the 7-11 compared to Harrods.
As long as you get the communication going they work fine but the main issue I had with their controls is to get my laptop communicating with the device. Especially the bacnet driver is a pain in the neck to get it working (and keep working).